CSU announces temporary furloughs due to COVID-19

By Jenna Johnson | May 4, 2020

Charleston Southern University is furloughing 10.7% of its full-time workforce, a total of 47 employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.

In a letter to CSU employees Monday morning, President Dondi Costin announced a reduction in spending, a continued hiring freeze for all but the most essential positions, some delays in capital projects, and a 12-week furlough for 47 non-contract teammates. He said, “In the face of continuing coronavirus-induced uncertainty, we, like all of higher education, must confront the fiscal and other realities of our sector head on. Borrowing the longstanding motto of March Madness, our approach the next couple of years must be to ‘Survive and Advance.’ Win today, play again tomorrow. In other words, we have no intention of sitting on our hands or even folding our hands except to pray. Instead, we will continue to treat our new strategic plan as both game plan and playbook, making the wisest use of available resources to advance from victory to victory in the strength of the Lord.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides an unemployment compensation of $600 per week. According to the president’s letter, senior leadership determined furloughs based on two primary factors: (1) the nature of job responsibilities with campus closure, and (2) the likelihood that furloughed employees would not take a financial hit due to the CARES provision. Senior officers also voted to take a 10% pay cut for the next 12 months as a show of solidarity and sacrifice. Furlough begins May 11 and ends July 31.

Enrollment deposits for Fall 2020 are up 23% over this time last year. Though the future remains unknown in many respects, CSU leaders expect a strong freshman class. “We ask you to pray for that trend to continue through Move-In Day and beyond,” Costin said. “I am confident that the best is yet to come.”

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